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17 Apr, 2024 22:39

US call delayed Israeli ‘response’ to Iran attack – media

“Diplomatic sensitivities” prevailed over the original plan, a government source has said
US call delayed Israeli ‘response’ to Iran attack – media

Israel planned to retaliate against Iran immediately after Tehran’s drone and missile attack on Saturday, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to hold off after speaking with US President Joe Biden, Israeli media have reported.

According to the public broadcaster Kan, Netanyahu's war cabinet had already approved a range of responses – depending on the scope of the Iranian attack – that would have taken place as early as Sunday. 

“The response won’t be what was planned any longer, diplomatic sensitivities won out,” a senior source within the government told the outlet. “There will be a response, but it seems it will be different from what was planned.”

There is still an understanding that Israel will respond, Kan quoted an unnamed Western diplomat as saying, but the delay suggests that it will be weaker than originally envisioned.

Iran launched a barrage of drones, along with ballistic and cruise missiles against Israel on Saturday. According to Tehran, the bombardment was lawful retaliation for the Israeli bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria earlier this month, which killed seven high-ranking officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi has said Tehran’s actions “will be met with a response.” However, the Israeli outlet Mako reported on Monday evening that the government was still working on a plan that would be acceptable to the US, “comply” with the rules set by Washington, and calibrated in such a way as to “not degenerate the region into a war.” 

Most of the Israeli leadership supports an attack on Iran, according to the news website Ynet, but some notable politicians – such as Shas party leader Aryeh Deri – have spoken out against an escalation. 

Iran has been preparing for a possible Israeli attack, most likely against Tehran-linked assets in Syria, while warning against such a course of action.

“The smallest action against Iran’s interests will definitely be met with a severe, extensive and painful response against all its perpetrators,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said.